Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

The ONE THING Boomers Have 2 Get Right in Job Search!

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Oct 27, 2010 10:43:00 AM

image boomergetsajob resized 600

Of course boomers have to use up-to-the-minute best practices in resume writing, job search and interviewing when looking for a job. But there is one overriding factor they have to nail: their value proposition. Often boomers have an advantage in this, because they have already had accomplished careers and a strong track record.

What's a value proposition for a job seeker? It's the benefit they can (often uniquely) provide to the potential employer that matches the needs of that employer. How do you use it? At a minimum, in your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn Profile. How else must you leverage it? In your networking and interviewing.

One of my clients was 62 and had been out of work for a year when he applied to a Director-level job. Despite a strong competitive field of younger applicants, he got the offer. Why? Because the value he offered was so clearly and boldly spelled out in his resume. And because he interviewed keeping the value prop as his central message. How could the company resist? He was offering the exact value that they needed to solve the "pain" they were having.

So, don't neglect this critical value messaging as you go about your job search. It will override any concerns employers may have about age (even if that concern is not expressed because of possible legal ramifications). But only if clearly, powerfully and consistently expressed on paper and in person!


Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, interviewing, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, technology resumes, career management, Get a Job, career services, IT resumes, careers in retirement, Retirement Planning

Your Personal Branding & the Dilemma of Having 2 Job Targets

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Sep 7, 2010 9:43:00 AM

What do you do when you have a well-developed personal brand in terms of your attributes and style but a muddy one in terms of your career brand? 

John Antonios makes important points in his post, “Personal Branding – A Full-time Lifetime Job!” about the need for authenticity in your personal brand (as opposed to articificial or even opportunitistic). Also important is his the statement that your personal brand CAN change and evolve as you do.

Because "what you do" is part of your personal brand, your brand naturally morphs as your career evolves. You will become known for what you do in your most recent position. Your personal traits such as "inspirational," "passionate,""never gives up" usually remain constant.

But, branding gets more complex when you are in job search mode and want to leave open the options of 2 different career directions.

Many managers and executives in technology - the folks I work with - have 2 career objectives. In terms of preparing their resume and other marketing documents, their personal / career brand will change depending on the skills/experience/talents they want to be emphasizing for the particular job. 

Say in one case the individual wants to present herself as a PMO expert and crack large program manager and in another as a VP of IT. She will need two sets of documents.

The tricky part comes when she has to present herself to her various audiences: LinkedIn, blog, Twitter, networking contacts etc. The ideal solution of course would be to do more career and market exploration until you have just one target. But, when that isn't going to work, you need to frame the career part of the personal brand more broadly to encompass both areas: "IT executive with strong PMO and large program management credentials."

When your goals greatly diverge, such as in the case of a serial entrepreneur who has worked in 3 different sectors, I recommend holding off on writing the LinkedIn Profile until your goal is clearer. It doesn't make sense to represent yourself as someone who is a CEO, COO, Sales & Marketing VP, Business Development Executive, Director of IT, and Finance Manager, even though you have played all these roles. You get the picture.

Obviously, a brand is more powerful if there is a clear and logical progression in your career, but very often this is not the case. So your personal / career brand must be considered dynamically and handled in a context-dependent manner. Here's where the attribute "good judgment" comes into play!



Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, technology resumes, CIO resumes, personal brands, IT resumes, job interview

Test the Personal Brand in Your Executive Resume!

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Aug 27, 2010 10:15:00 AM

images GottheJob

What is the acid test of whether your personal brand as expressed in your executive resume will help get you your next job? This story illustrates the answer:

I worked with a technology executive to write his branded executive resume and brand bio. I heard back from him in a couple of months in the form of a link in an email. I clicked through and read the article announcing his appointment as CIO for an organization experiencing rapid growth. Congratulations to him!

As I read the article more carefully, I noticed that the two reasons the organization stated for selecting him were the two components of his brand that we had showcased in his resume and bio.

It struck home to me then that personal branding is not just an optional exercise. The value proposition and value-adds that you use to represent yourself are absolutely critical to getting your next job.

When writing your executive resume, bio, cover letter, or blogsite copy, be sure that the ONE THING you do best and the SUPPORTING PERSONAL INFORMATION are what the employer really needs - a lot!

In the case of my client, the hiring organization immediately picked up on his brand that he was extremely skilled at ramping up technology functions to enable exponential corporate growth and sought him out. So, in their need to find someone to help them with their "pain" - the fact that their technology infrastructure was not adequate to provide for planned growth - my client was the answer to their needs.

We also, in his bio, talked about another key component of his personal brand: he is highly committed to mentoring up-and-coming technologists. He initiated programs and provided other kinds of leadership both within and outside of his corporation to help reverse the prevailing scarcity of skilled IT personnel. The article pointed out that his commitment was an additional fact about him that made him a valuable hire.

So, to test whether your personal branding will be effective in your resume ask the question: "Have I made it crystal clear in a 10-second read that I am the solution to a company's needs?" And: "What makes me interesting and distinctive and gives me a competitive advantage over other applicants?"

If so, you will stand out amidst the flood of other applicants and land interviews. You can then use your career and personal brand in interviews and salary negotiations to get the offer and negotiate your compensation at the high end of the range. Personal branding is the "gift that keeps on giving!"




Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, personal brand, executive resume writing, executive resume, technology resumes, CIO resumes, personal brands, IT resumes, job interview

The Perils of Personal Branding + Online ID

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Aug 20, 2010 11:05:00 AM

images privacy

The other day, I had several messages from someone I didn't know. When I called the man back, he said, "Do you remember me? I was your census taker?" Then he went on to say, "I called you because you seem to be outgoing (I'm an introvert) and upbeat (hmmm), and you might be interested in a multibillion-dollar company I'm connected with. I told him that I have a business of my own, and he said that I'd be doing something completely different from what I'm doing now (he looked me up online). He said, "Let's have coffee" and "Here's a website to look at."

He was so mysterious that I went to a similarly unrevealing website that looked to me as though it was a pyramid scheme and the former census taker was just looking to harvest prospects (from people he met in the census, researched, and approached!)

I found myself taken aback that someone would use information he found that way (possibly illegally?). He had used what he found out about me online to try to enlist me in his scheme.

A second instance happened in my life this week too. This one related to the connection you make when you do an online video where you are speaking to your target audience. You put it up to address that audience. But it doesn't feel great to have someone not in that audience or in the industry make assumptions about you that they then act on.

Now that having a strong online brand is increasingly de rigeur for professionals, managers, and executives (and just about everybody!), don't we all become at risk of becoming known - not just by the employers who might want to hire us or the customers/clients we'd like to do business with - but by people willing to exploit what they have learned about us to try to manipulate us for their own ends?

I'd love some reaction to the following questions:

* Does anyone else out there feel uncomfortable at times that the whole world is able to find out what you are "known for"?

* Does having a video of yourself in cyberspace make you feel more vulnerable or exposed than text alone would?

* Where do you draw the privacy line in terms of what you put online?

* Is your personal brand something you want everyone to know, and, if not, how do you protect it and still get a job or do business?

Although it's a little strong for my experience with the ex-census-taker (or maybe not), a gospel verse popped into my head: "Don't cast your pearls before swine, lest they suddenly turn to attack you."

Personal branding is, or should be, all about authenticity, and as such, is revelatory of the "personal" as well as the brand. Isn't it the "personal" part that places an individual potentially at risk?

But, for all these concerns, is a personal brand kept out of the public domain, like the tree that falls unheard in the forest, a brand at all?  Jean



Topics: personal branding, executive resumes, personal brand, career management, reputation management

The Dalai Lama & Your Interviewing Style

Posted by Tyrone Norwood

Apr 30, 2010 4:18:00 PM

In a Harvard class he was teaching, Nick Morgan said that the Dalai Lama exemplifies 2 qualities that make for a great public speaker: charisma and authenticity. What if a job seeker had an interviewing style that had those qualities? My guess is that he or she would have a huge competitive edge.

Personal Branding Guru William Arruda, through his Reach interview series, introduced me to Nick's ideas about public speaking (refer to Nick Morgan's book Trust Me). Nick says that there are 4 parts to developing your own communication style: openness, connection, passion, and listening.

When I saw the Dalai Lama in the TD Garden with tens of thousands of others, I felt as though I was the only one in the room. Out of great quietness came this teaching voice. The impression of stillness and total non-judging acceptance that I felt was unique in my life and was unrelated to his words (which were mainly a rehashing of Buddhist tenets).  

If 80% of an interview's success lies in nonverbal communication, then it's critical to give out a sense of "presence" that matches the person you say you are. Part of what Nick is recommending is making sure your nonverbal cues align with what you are saying. Because the interviewer is going to believe your body language not your words!

If, for instance, you say you are a bold leader, it would be a good idea not to hunch your shoulders and use nervous hand gestures!

That day in the Garden, I saw how the Dalai Lama made the connection with the audience. Imagine if, in an interview, you were able to speak out of a place of deep conviction in yourself - about your unique promise of value, your achievements, and your strengths - while also connecting genuinely with the unique other that is your interviewer. Now that would be powerful.


Cross-posted at www.CareerHubBlog.com 
















Topics: interviewing, interview style, interviewing style, personal brand

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Tyrone Norwood